Vacansoleil has announced that Jean-Paul Van Poppel will join the team as sports director for 2011. Van Poppel arrives at the Dutch squad after two years as sports director with Cervélo TestTeam, which will disband at the end of the season.
“Jean-Paul has been working in cycling for years, he has experience in managing a cycling team both inside and outside the races and, as a rider, he was also in the absolute top ranks,” said Vacansoleil team manager Daan Luijkx.
“With the signing of Van Poppel we take another step in the further professionalization of the team.”
Van Poppel, winner of nine Tour de France stages as a rider in the 1980s and 90s, will serve as sports director alongside Hilaire Vanderschueren and Michel Cornelisse, and assist Luijkx in the day-to-day management of the team.
Vacansoleil has applied for a ProTour licence for the 2011 season but its chances were dealt a blow by the events of last week, when new signing Ezequiel Mosquera was revealed to have tested positive for Hydroxyethyl starch at the Vuelta a España. Meanwhile, Riccardo Riccò, who arrived from Ceramica Flaminia in August, was linked by reports in the Italian media to two separate doping investigations taking place in the country.